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More and more shoppers are embracing food as medicine, and consequently heading to local grocery stores to meet their health and wellness needs.
Food-as-medicine is not a groundbreaking idea; the concept can be documented as far back as the Ancient Greeks (the famous quote “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” can be attributed to Hippocrates). But until recently food-as-medicine has been more of a “fringe” idea than mainstream. While the public’s faith in traditional medical institutions and treatments has crumbled and healthcare costs have continued to rise, shoppers have renewed their interest in the idea. As a result, the functional food and beverage space is exploding. And in the last year, health and wellness spending at grocery has started to rival mass and drug expenditures.
The food-as-medicine lifestyle encompasses more than increased organic and natural options. In response to growing shopper interest, grocery stores are adapting in innovative ways. They’re redesigning the grocery retail experience to accommodate wellness services and support, and playing an active role in shopper health management.
Our fourth and final installment of our AI study is available for download here.
At the beginning there were more questions than answers when it came to AI’s collision with commerce. But as we wrap up our four-part study, we can reflect on all we’ve learned.
In Part 1: that today’s shopper is curious about AI and starting to scratch the surface when it comes to AI capabilities—seeing AI as an assistant that can help with simple tasks like playing music or creating a shopping list.
In Part 2: that tomorrow’s shoppers are open to letting AI make purchase decisions for “chore” transactions including everyday household items. But they are not ready to give up power completely. Rather, they have a desire for AI to enhance its services with a value slant toward finding deals, saving time, or offering more customized suggestions tailored to people’s specific needs.
In Part 3: that your preferred retailer can affect your desires and perceptions of AI. Tech-forward companies like Amazon and Walmart have shoppers that are more open to embracing AI for shopping, while core grocery shoppers are a tad behind the adoption curve.
In this fourth and final part of the study, we examined the data in light of the varying socioeconomic factors affecting today’s shopping culture. We explored whether attitudes toward and adoption of AI technology differed based on socioeconomic factors including household income, education levels, and region.
A) The unofficial start of Summer
B) BBQs and beer
C) Honoring the 45+ million who have served in our military during war time
D) A very welcome long weekend
E) Best time of the year to buy a refrigerator
Like most Americans, you probably had a difficult time deciding on just one “reason for the season.” Since its inception, Memorial Day has nearly always been a “tug-of-war between solemn remembrance and summertime fun." The holiday lies at the apex of tradition and seasonality. It subconsciously ushers in summer food cravings and outdoor activities. And at the same time it’s also a sacred time to recognize and pay our respects to those that have served in our military. These distinct forms of thought provide challenges for both consumers and brands.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect on May 25, 2018. Created to provide more control and better privacy protection to European Union residents, the GDPR compliance regulation affects all companies that are either marketing to or collecting data from EU consumers.
What US Marketers Need to Know?
Even if you work on US brands, your marketing may still be reaching shoppers from the EU—in fact, the terms used in the legislation are “data subject” and “natural persons,” which include non-citizen residents of and visitors to the EU for the duration of their stay. Therefore, consider that your next email promotion could reach U.S. citizens who are traveling or spending time living abroad and be subject to this legislation.
Also keep in mind that the GDPR can apply to brick-and-mortar as well as e-commerce. For example, shoppers paying with a credit or debit card, providing personal information such as a name or shipping address, or participating in a customer loyalty program can all fall under GDPR protections.
As far as financial penalties, non-compliance can lead to a maximum penalty of 20 million euros or 4% of your total global revenues, whichever is greater.
What Can Shoppers Do?
On one hand, a loyal customer spends more per shopping trip. In fact, the average basket of an existing customer is 15—25% higher than the average basket of a new customer. Therefore, it is important for brands and retailers to build loyalty among shoppers—especially as competition intensifies and buying opportunities proliferate.
On the other hand, according to Statista, today’s shoppers subscribe to 17 loyalty programs on average. Unfortunately, after signing up for a loyalty program, many shoppers forget about the advantages that initially lured them in and fail to make use of the loyalty program benefits. The ultimate result is that shoppers do not stay loyal, forcing brands and retailers to continually chase after new and lapsed shoppers.
To combat this, some French brands are refocusing their marketing efforts to better communicate the unique and compelling benefits of their loyalty programs to both attract new shoppers and drive more effective usage of the loyalty program among current shoppers.
As the royal wedding nears, fans are not just tuning into the coverage but also looking to own a piece of this cultural moment. Royal wedding souvenir sales for items including mugs and tee shirts are rising because they are an easy way for shoppers to participate in the event. In fact, shoppers have been buying royal wedding memorabilia for decades and in 1993, official souvenirs began being produced by the Royal Collection Trust.
While the retail sector will benefit from these souvenir sales, other sectors are also set to benefit as fans flock to the event in person. Tourism, catering and pubs are also likely to see a burst of sales as fans look to be part of the big event.
It is cultural moments like these that captivate consumers' hearts and have the power to turn them into shoppers. But it is important for brands and companies to find an authentic and meaningful way to connect with and sell to shoppers. For example, offering items or services that offer access to the experience, capture the memories, or enhance the moment are in the interest of the shopper and likely to be well received. Will you tune in and buy a piece of the royal wedding?
Contributed By: Kira Walstrom, Integer Denver
Image Source: Royalty Free Shutterstock
Are you curious to learn more about CX analytics and action, customer-centric culture, organizational adoption and accountability? Then stop by the CX Talks: The Customer Experience Summit happening in Dallas on May 21st and 22nd. Integer's own Dennis Dennis Wakabayashi, VP Digital and Commerce Integration, will be speaking on the CXpert Panel: Analytics to Action, led by Diane Magers, CCXP CEO, CXPA and Founder, Customer Experience Catalysts.
Stop by at 1pm for the CXpert Panel: Analytics to Action if you are in town.
Image Source: CX Talks: The Customer Experience Summit
We’ve moved beyond the age of eCommerce as being a separate entity from brick-and-mortar retail. Increasingly, the two are becoming one and the same, influencing decisions across channels and even individual retailers. Shoppers no longer think of eCommerce and in-store as separate experiences or merely transaction points, and as marketers, neither can we.
We can see this in recent statistics concerning Click-and-Collect (or buy online, pick up in store) shopper behavior, which shows that after making selections online, 69% of shoppers will purchase additional items in store when picking up their online purchase.
Or consider mobile search in store, which we’ve seen develop as a standard shopping behavior over the past several years. As Bloomberg reported this past holiday season, 49% of shoppers will first turn to Amazon.com for a product search. From our research, we know these searches often happen in conjunction with an in-store experience when shoppers are in the aisle.
It might seem challenging to start meeting shoppers everywhere at every touch point with relevant content to move them to transaction. However, there are two fundamental steps brands are taking to ensure they’re guiding today’s eShopper in just the right moments.
1. Enhanced Content
Amazon started incorporating a more advanced version of its “A+” manufacturer content this year, which includes enhanced content like engaging videos, beautiful imagery, and other immersive content that allows product pages to feel like native brand experiences.
In a world where there’s no shortage of information or opinions, Gen Alpha stands to reap an entirely different upbringing compared to generations before them thanks to a growing segment of “Parennials” (16 million Millennial women are now mothers, aged 24—37, with 10,000 more children being born each year). Whether trying to compensate for their own upbringing or simply taking advantage of the volume(s) of information available, Parennials are caught in a self-inflicted conundrum: radically balancing the old with the new.
Knowing the pitfalls and mistakes of their own upbringing (hello, helicopter parents and labels of entitlement), Parennials are trying to buck previous conventions. The result? Straddling the line between a host of new decisions: under- vs. over stimulation. Outdoor playtime adventures and tech-focused software tools/classes. Confidence and humility. Grit and vulnerability.
The list goes on.
When it comes to changing people's habits, sometimes seeing is believing. But what if you cannot see the problem? What if it's so glacier in nature that it goes unnoticed or is downgraded in the minds of the people? Environmental issues such as pollution, are one such thing. They often go unnoticed by culture and are accepted as the status quo.
In the wake of Earth Day, environmental concerns remain high despite ongoing efforts to educate people and encourage sustainable and eco-friendly purchases. Beyond big facts and stats, people are looking for new ways to raise awareness and hopfully prompt people to change how they live and shop for the good of the planet.
Recently, British artist Michael Pinsky created an installation of five geodesic domes, or pollution pods, in London intended to replicate the atmospheric conditions in Beijing; São Paulo, Brazil; London; New Delhi; and Norway’s Tautra Island by recreating the air using safe chemicals. The installation put the spotlight on the issue of pollution and helped people truly see and experience air quality across the globe. The reactions he received proved that sometimes it takes seeing an issue in a new light to really make an impact.
At a time when people are scrutinizing how much the media can impact perspectives (and…elections) like never before, some brands are taking the opportunity to showcase past mistakes with the hope that, by doing so, they will be able to demonstrate their commitment to rectifying past mistakes and win over shopper loyalty. The overarching sentiment is, “that’s who we were, but not who we are anymore. Trust us.”
One great example of this is National Geographic’s recent race-themed issue. In it, National Geographic explores how race defines, separates, and unites us, while also taking a look at the role the magazine’s own content may have played in driving our ideas about race. To do this, National Geographic recruited historian John Edwin Mason to analyze its photos and articles published over the past 130 years. Mason found that subjects of color were typically depicted as “savages,” and bare-chested women were often photographed to entice male readers. In Mason’s words, National Geographic promoted the view that the “black and brown world was primitive and backward and generally unchanging.”
This content is running in National Geographic current issue because—in its words—“For decades, our coverage was racist. To rise above it, we must acknowledge it.”
One of the most striking food trends of 2017 was flexitarianism, with one in three people saying they were trying to reduce their meat intake. But in 2018, the vegan food revolution is sweeping the U.K. and becoming a mainstream movement that affects not only what shoppers buy but also how retailers approach their product mix.
According to The Vegan Society, more than half of U.K. adults are now adopting “vegan buying behaviour,” while the number of full-time vegans has grown fourfold in the past 10 years. Veganuary—a pledge to not eat animal products during January—is one example of this growing trend, and we are seeing supermarkets across the U.K. embracing it.
— Online grocer Ocado has added 90 products to its dedicated vegan site.
The face of beauty today is vastly different than where we've been. And as culture embraces the many faces of beauty, we are seeing genderless beauty become mainstream. Unisex cosmetics, skincare, razors, fragrances and more are hitting the market with bold, simple design and that suits the needs of the consumer regardless of gender.
For example, Mio Skincare's 'Gym Kit' is does not target men or women but rather health conscious consumers who love fitness.
Similarly, companies like Basik are offering genderless razors and other household items. The founder of the company explains, "I learned that there, in fact are physical differences in the razors for men and women. Though, these differences are related only to the function of the product, which isn’t always related to the gender of the consumer. For example, the blades are different for shaving beard than for shaving legs, but this doesn’t mean that they should be marketed only towards one gender.” Basik reflects this sentiment through design stating that the company "sees gender-neutral packaging as a factor that can encourage gender equality and create a more sustainable world."
As gender norms continue to evolve, we expect to see more beauty products align with needs and benefits rather than gender. Shoppers are reacting positively to these new offerings, embracing unisex options that have sleek modern design. But with genderless brands on the rise will classic brands and retailers have to reconsider their communication? Their aisle configurations and shelf sets? Or how they think about beauty overall?
Contributed By: Kira Walstrom, Integer Denver
Image Source: Hellsten
The Dutch chain Ekoplaza has just launched Europe’s first plastic-free supermarket aisle. Shoppers can choose from more than 700 products wrapped in biodegradable materials that look similar to plastic at no extra cost. This initiative comes at a time when the debate around reducing plastic waste from supermarkets and manufacturers is experiencing a new push, with initiatives such as the LADbible Trash Isles and the U.K. government putting the reduction of plastic waste at the heart of its environmental plan.
24% of Britons express “extreme” concern about plastic packaging in grocery stores and 42% want food and drink manufacturers to make recyclable packaging their top priority. What so far has been an issue for a niche audience of committed environmentalists has grown to become a concern for the mainstream shopper. Fueled by small “zero-waste” or “plastic-free” stores popping up all around the U.K. and the fact that recent findings revealed that U.K. supermarkets produce around 1 million tonnes of plastic waste each year, the issue has slowly been picked up by brands.
Click to download Part 4: The Socioeconomics of AI to explore how AI impacts various shopper types